Category Archives: Manuscript Collections

F.H. Madison United States Naval Academy Plebe Exam Notebook 1894-1895

This notebook contains copies of exams given F. H. Madison, a plebe (Class of 1898) at the United States Naval Academy, in mathematics, algebra, geometry, French, English and history from 1894 to 1895. Together with his grades in these subjects are the names of instructors and marks for efficiency and conduct. Mounted in the notebook are numerous pictures of ships of the American, French, English and Italian navies. Some of the vessels illustrated were built by the William Cramp & Sons Ship and Engine Building Company.

Finding aid (PDF)

F.H. Madison Navy Plebe Book image

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Samuel Bayless Journal, 1859-1864

This is the second volume of the diary of Samuel Bayless (1827-1917) from Kirkwood (Conklin), four miles East of Binghamton, New York. There are near daily entries from September 1, 1859 to May 31, 1864 spanning 432 numbered pages, with seven additional pages at the end of the volume with notes and drawings. There is a typed transcription (complete until the entry on August 3, 1861, page 186) by an unknown person, which contains numerous errors. The journal describes his family, the farm, the weather, politics, and local historical events.

According to his diary, on September 1, 1859, his parents were living; he was married to Matilda Langdon whose parents were both living, and he had one daughter, Ida, born December 12, 1858. On July 27, 1860, his wife Matilda died after giving birth to a baby girl. The baby, Matilda, died on August 24, 1860.

Finding aid (PDF)

Jollon Family Papers, 1898-1955

This collection includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, and other documents related to the Jollon family, of which several members attended St. John’s University. The majority of the papers relate to Alfred J. Jollon, who graduated from St. John’s College with a Bachelor of Arts in 1905 and a Master of Arts in 1908. He served on the St. John’s College Alumni Association and the Board of Trustees, and was awarded an Honorary Honorary Doctor of Laws from St. John’s College in 1929.

In addition, there are various documents that illustrate the university’s history, including correspondence regarding a patent filed and received by Dr. Rev. Edward J. Carey, C.M. of St. John’s College for a type of athletic hurdle equipment (filed October 21, 1922, issued April 14, 1925).

Finding aid (PDF)

Jollon Family Papers image

 

St. John’s University Scrapbook, 1870-1935

This scrapbook contains memorabilia and newspaper clippings related to St. John’s University and to the Catholic community in Brooklyn, including events held at the Lewis Avenue, Brooklyn Campus at St. John’s College Hall, the Church of St. John the Baptist, the St. John’s Seminary, the St. John’s Parochial
School, and events in celebration of John Loughlin, the first Bishop of Brooklyn (1817-1891). There are also programs for various events relating to the centenary celebration of the Miraculous Medal in 1930. A number of St. John’s University presidents, church officials, and other prominent persons related to
early St. John’s history are represented in the scrapbook.

It is inferred that Joseph W. Carroll, a student at St. John’s University from 1870-1874, was the original creator of the scrapbook because of a penmanship sample which matches the remains of correspondence long ago ripped out of the
scrapbook dating to 1870 when he was a student at St. John’s, as well as Carroll’s involvement in the various events for Bishop Loughlin included in this scrapbook.

Finding Aid (PDF)

St. John's University Scrapbook

 

Student Composition Book, 1871-1874

This composition book was handwritten by seventeen students of St. John’s College, Brooklyn, New York, (founded in 1870) between 1871 and approximately 1874. The ledger has a plain cover and lined paper with no page numbers. The title page reads, “Compositions of Class of 1871-72 Saint John’s College Cor. of Lewis + Willoughby avs Brooklyn L.I. N.Y.” in decorative handwriting. The binding is fragile and the ink on some of the pages is faded.

The entries within this volume vary in length; some are shorter and authored by only one or two students, while the longest story, “Edward Bradwell” was written by nine students contributing various chapters. Only a few entries are dated. One entry describes the funeral services of the Rev. David O’Mulane, Pastor of the Church of St. Vincent de Paul, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on October 25, 1873.
The seventeen student authors are listed in the roster of pupils in the St. John’s College course catalogs. The list below shows the academic years in which each student is listed, as well as their home address at the time. Several of the authors of the essays in the book were founding members of the school’s first student society the “St. John’s Literary Union.” The society’s motto was Veritas Semper Vincit (truth always prevails).

Finding Aid (PDF)

Read a blog post about the Composition Book

Student Composition Book 1870's

Rev. John W. Moore, C.M. Family Papers

The Moore Family Papers include correspondence between John William Vincent Moore, seventh president of St. John’s University from 1906 to 1925, and various members of his family. Also included are several pieces of ephemera and a candlestick rumored to date from the Reformation, when it was used by priests who offered Mass surreptitiously, in secret chapels in the homes of Catholic Scots by the documentation provided. The letters from Fr. Moore detail his life as a seminary student in Germantown, Pennsylvania, his first time visiting St. John’s College in Brooklyn (a temporary assignment before he eventually became President), visiting New York City and touring several churches and other famous sites in New York for the first time, including St. Patrick’s Cathedral and “the Great Bridge of Brooklyn.” He also writes about family life, including the death of his father, whose funeral he was not able to attend, and marriage advice for his sister. Letters from July and August 1914 provide information on Rev. John W. Moore in Europe (Germany, France, and Spain) at the breakout of World War One. A letter dated February 5, 1911 from “Bud,” Fr. Moore’s nephew, to his mother, Mary Weber, provides a description of his last months at the seminary in Germantown, and the reasons why he left to be with his uncle and study at St. John’s College.

Finding Aid (PDF)

Digital Collection

 

George J. Crane Papers, 1898-1949

George James Crane graduated from Boys High School, Brooklyn, in 1910, and then earned a B.A. (cum laude) at St. John’s College in 1914, an M.A. at Columbia University in 1917, and a Ph.D. at Fordham University in 1929. He also served in the armed forces during World War I. Crane was a teacher and principal at several New York City area elementary and high schools including Boys High and Boys Summer High in Brooklyn; East Side Evening High in Manhattan, and P.S. 71. He was the first principal of Bayside High School in Queens, from 1936 until 1951 when he retired. Additionally, from 1920, Crane taught courses in English and American Literature at St. John’s University and Manhattan College. George Crane passed away in 1966.

This collection contains the personal papers of George Crane, including memorabilia, correspondence, photographs, clippings, class and lecture notes, a master’s thesis, dissertation, and publications. There are two scrapbooks; one contains personal items such as school and drama club materials, newspaper clippings, and photographs. The other scrapbook was compiled by Crane’s students in 1933 prior to his trip to England.

George J. Crane portrait

Christopher J. Gorman Collection, 1932-1940

Christopher Joseph Gorman received his B.A. from St. John’s University in 1934. As an undergraduate he was active in many student organizations, including the Skull & Circle honor society (president), Sigma Zeta Chi, Crusade Club, Student Council,  Torch (business manager), Vincentian (organization editor), Glee Club, Orchestra, and Dramatic Society, as well as class football and basketball, among other activities. Gorman went on to study at St. John’s Law School, from which he graduated in September 1936.  He acted as editor-in-chief of the Law Review journal of St. John’s Law School in 1935-1936.

This collection contains memorabilia collected by Christopher J. Gorman during his time at St. John’s University and as an alumnus, including two scrapbooks he compiled about his education, career, and personal life.

Finding Aid (PDF)

Christopher Gorman yearbook photo

Elaine M. Lilli Collection, 1952-1956

Elaine Marilyn Lilli (née Andrews) graduated from University College at St. John’s University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in June, 1956. She was a member of the Squaw Society (a sorority at University College), Chorus, The Gaels, History Seminar, Intramurals, and St. John’s News, among other activities. This collection contains memorabilia from Elaine M. Lilli’s time at St. John’s University from 1952 to 1956.  The items reflect her academic and extracurricular activities.

Finding Aid (PDF)

Elaine M. Lilli yearbook photo

Arthur B. Carton Collection, 1921-1925

carton_baseball_01

Finding Aid (PDF)

Arthur B. Carton received a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John’s College in 1925, and graduated from St. John’s School of Law in 1928. He was the secretary of his freshman class, an editor of the student publication Red and White, a member of the Joyce Kilmer Fraternity, and the manager of the St. John’s College baseball team (1922-1923) and football team (1923). He was actively involved in the Alumni Association for many years.

This collection is comprised primarily of St. John’s sports memorabilia, along with a few class registration cards and academic schedules. The baseball scrapbook contains newspaper clippings about the St. John’s baseball team, some memorabilia, and letterheads mainly from colleges and universities. There is a miniature football-shaped charm inscribed, “St. J. 13 Fordham 0 / Arthur B. Carton MGR / 1923” which he received as the manager of the first entirely St. John’s College football team (without St. John’s Prep students).